If you spend enough time on the internet, you're going to come across an unpopular opinion or two. You may even come across people who live their lives that don't necessarily comply with the law, and we aren't just talking about using torrents to pirate Howard the Duck to prove a point to your significant other that yes, the movie actually exists.
There have been several folks who've gone viral for their "unconventional" parenting techniques, like this one mom who was looking for outdoor furniture for her children so she could put their bedroom...in the backyard. As you can imagine, it caused quite the kerfuffle online.
People seem to have really strong opinions on the sleeping situations of children, which may be why this mommy TikTok-er's opinions on cribs has so many folks riled up.
@comingupfern shared a recent video where she offered up some compelling arguments against the traditional "American" concept of a child's nursery. She calls cribs "baby jail cells" and that the rooms are filled with artwork that the child is unable to see. She also stated that she would never enforce a bedtime for her child because it'd be cruel to lock an adult in a container and make them sleep when they aren't tired.
The mom also stated that it seems cruel to create an environment for children that encourages parents to leave them in there and go about their business.
She then shared the set-up of her 5-month old baby's nursery, which featured a bed that was low to the ground, along with a cute white and gray color scheme and a stuffed animal llama. Oh, and a living bunny that happily hopped around the room.
It didn't take long for people to share their very strong opinions on @comingupfern's parenting skills. Some pointed out that, as former babies, they don't remember ever sleeping in a crib, let alone being traumatized by one. Others wrote, "Jesus if she's not joking, this country is done."
this is a big yikes. babies don’t have all the self-regulatory mechanisms developed yet to determine “i feel tired” = “i should close my eyes and go to sleep.” adults *have* to help children learn how to take care of themselves by creating an environment for good sleep.— alecia lynn eberhardt-smith (@alecialynn) January 17, 2021
When they kid breaks it's collar bone rolling out of that bed she will be putting walls around it. Sometimes new parents think they are experts but you only get to that level when you have caught puke in your hands from one child while wearing another child in a sling.— Autumn (@SciRocker) January 17, 2021
Others used it as an opportunity to crack jokes, stating, "this baby is free-range," while some commenters shared their own experiences. Like TikTok user Andrea Rahn who wrote, "My mom didn't use a crib either. 5 months I rolled off the mattress, fell the wrong way, and broke my collar bone. There is a reason why use cribs."
oh yes this is an only slightly more extreme version of some of the shit you see in parenting groups. it's Montessori (floor bed, pictures at child's eye level) mixed with INTENSE attachment parenting, intactivism and anti-vax (the "bodily autonomy" comment is a tell)— Doree Shafrir (@doree) January 17, 2021
Did you see the one where she says that getting an epidural is giving your kid drugs? She said they will test your baby before leaving the hospital and then find trace amounts in their system and take your baby from you. This lady is crazy.— Haley Grubbs (@grubbs_haley) January 17, 2021
There were plenty of other people who echoed Andrea's sentiments, stating that cribs are designed for children's safety and not simply for "lazy" parents who want a "convenient" place to lock their child in. The Mayo Clinic espouses safe sleeping situations for babies that will inhibit SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) from occurring.
Dr. Robert Jacobson, pediatrician for the Mayo Clinic states that "Babies need to be placed on the back for every nap and every night until the baby is 1 year old. No blankets, no bumpers, no pillows, no stuffy animals, but always on a firm, authentic baby crib mattress!"
So allowing a baby to roll out of bed and crawl in their surroundings, on a toddler bed with pillows and stuffed animals, goes against what pediatricians recommend.
I reported it. Seriously screwed up. Could actually harm a mother dealing w postpartum depression who is trying to sleep train.— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) January 17, 2021
I have plenty of critique for this video that I’ll not bother sharing.— Tim Lowden (@tdlowden) January 17, 2021
I just wanna know if anyone else spotted that free range rabbit hopping around.
Not to mention the fact that there's a bunny hopping around the kid's room. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this rabbit isn't litter-box trained, so when @comingupfern's baby is crawling on the ground, they might come across some little conspicuous brown pellets they'll find interesting...and learn the hard way that they don't taste so good.
how much rabbit poop is around their house?? just a free range rabbit in the background of this+ baby who sleeps on the floor is a wild combo— Clams Kessino (@clams_kessino) January 17, 2021
While plenty of people were more than happy to point out that this TikTok mom's parenting techniques were bizarre, others went and reported her for child abuse and endangerment.
Also, "forcing" a child to sleep is important for their mental and physical development. Early growth hormone production is imperative for infants. Extensive research also indicates that 18-month-old children with later bedtimes suffered social, language, and motor skill deficiencies.
Looking forward to her TikToks when it comes to potty training and the baby’s autonomy😬💩— Stuart Dredge (@stuartdredge) January 17, 2021
This lady: 👏🏻 sleep 👏🏻 training 👏🏻 is 👏🏻 abuse 👏🏻— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) January 17, 2021
The woman's argument basically boiled down to one belief: that sleep training children is abuse. Folks were intrigued by the "craziness" of this woman's TikTok account, highlighting other videos where she equates using epidurals during labor with giving your babies drugs, and why she decided to give birth at home as opposed to delivering in a hospital.
Imagine if your partner held you in an overpowering grip and forced you to be in a video you didn't understand or support to promote their controversial point of view— Martin Smith (@EvEm_Relic) January 17, 2021
Some of the most pointed criticism towards @comingupfern's videos is the hypocrisy of championing for her baby's rights and autonomy, like when she stated that babies cannot consent to circumcisions, but completely ignores the fact that her baby may not want to be put on camera and utilized as a part of a social media, mommy blogger campaign espousing specific beliefs they may or may not agree with when they're older.
"We also have a baby door, because babies are nocturnal. If you wanted to roam the neighborhood, sleep-deprived, in the middle of the night, and your partner stopped you, we'd call that a*use. Babies should be able to play in the street if that's how they express themselves."— New Year; New Name here ______ 🏳️🌈✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽 (@Ninjamonkky) January 17, 2021
I have ADHD and was almost impossible to contain as a child. My mom woke up one morning when I was like 18 months old to find me swinging from the chandelier in the dining room. If this lady had been my mom I would not have reached my second birthday.— Big Square Trainer (@BSTrainer) January 18, 2021